FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas women’s soccer team had its six-game unbeaten streak snapped on Sunday afternoon, as No. 6-ranked Florida defeated the Razorbacks, 3-1, before a nationally televised audience on the SEC Network at Razorback Field.
The loss, not only snaps Arkansas’ (6-3-4, 2-1-2 SEC) six-game unbeaten streak, but also marks the first time this season that the Razorbacks have dropped a Southeastern Conference contest.
Florida (9-2-0, 5-0-0) took an early lead thanks to a pair of first half goals from Liz Slattery in the 23rd minute and Savannah Jordan in the 35th.
Arkansas pulled within a score in the 62nd minute, as junior Ashleigh Ellenwood posted the 25th goal of her career to move into a fifth-place time on the school’s all-time list with Brittany Burns (2003-06).
The Gators ended any hope of an Arkansas comeback with a Tessa Andujar goal in the 80th minute to secure Florida’s 3-1 victory.
The Florida offense collected two goals and posted 10 of its 18 shots on the day in the first frame to put Arkansas back on its heels early. The Razorback offense did put all five of its first stanza shots on goal, however UF goalie Taylor Burke saved all five shots to keep a clean sheet during the opening 45 minutes.
The Gators posted their first goal in the 23rd minute with a diving header from Liz Slattery. Havana Solaun received a short corner kick from Annie Speese and played the ball back to a running Speese, who delivered a cross into the 18-yard box to find a diving Slattery for the header.
Florida posted another first half goal in the 35th minute, as Savanah Jordan, in traffic, directed a Jillian Graff pass into the back of the net for her team-leading ninth score of the year.
Arkansas broke through with a goal in the 62th minute, as junior Ashleigh Ellenwood collected her fifth goal of the year.
The score came off a set piece, as sophomore Claire Kelley sent a free kick from nearly 40 yards out into the box to find a sprinting Ellenwood. The Michigan City, Ind., native collected the ball and took a touch in front of the goal before blasting a shot into the right side of the net to pull her team within a goal on the No. 6-ranked team in the nation.
The Razorbacks nearly tied the game just three minutes later, as sophomore Rachel Riggs fired a shot from 22 yards out that got past a diving Burke. Unfortunately for Arkansas, the shot drilled the right post and took an unfriendly bounce, as it ricocheted away from the goal, keeping the Gators’ 2-1 lead intact.
Sophomore goalie Cameron Carter made a spectacular save in the 69th minute, as she moved outside of the six-yard box to block a Speese shot. The bounce off Carter landed back in front of Speese, but her second shot would be off the mark as it went wide left of the goal.
The Gators retook their two-goal lead in 80th minute with a Tessa Andujar goal. Andujar recovered the ball after a misplayed cross landed out of the 18, and put on a pair of shifty moves to get around a Razorback defender and fired a shot towards the back left post to score the goal.
Just three minutes later, Arkansas posted another chance to pull back within a goal as Alexandra Fischer toe-poked a shot past Burke. Yet again, luck was not of the Razorbacks side, as the ball lost pace before crossing the goal line, as a Florida defender cleared the ball.
Florida was able to fend off an Arkansas attack over the final minutes, as they were able to pick up the 3-1 win to snap the Razorbacks six-game unbeaten streak.
The Razorbacks now hit the road for a two-game SEC road trip at Tennessee and Alabama. Arkansas opens the trip on Oct. 10 in Knoxville against the Lady Volunteers. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m.
- Today’s loss snaps Arkansas’ six-game unbeaten streak and its seven-game home unbeaten streak.
- Today’s attendance of 1,177 marks the sixth time in seven home games this season the Razorbacks have eclipsed the 1,000-attendence mark.
- Arkansas is now 30-21-5 in the Colby Hale era.
- The Razorbacks are now 19-8-2 in 29 home games under Hale.
- In 29 SEC games under Hale, Arkansas is an even 13-13-3 after the loss.
- Florida is now 19-0-0 all-time against Arkansas.
- All-time, the Razorbacks are 58-124-16 in SEC play.
- Arkansas is now 103-87-15 all-time at Razorback Field.
- Ashleigh Ellenwood’s goal is her fifth of the year and the 25th of her career, putting her in a tie with Brittany Burns (2003-06) for fifth all-time.
- The two points for Ellenwood today gives her a team-high 17 on the year and 65 in her career.
- The 65 points puts her one point shy of Brittany Burns’ 66 points for fifth on the school’s all-time list.
- Claire Kelley’s assist is her seventh on the year to tie her with Ellenwood for the team lead.
- Kelley now has nine assist in her career.
Head Coach Colby Hale
On the loss
“I think for the first twenty minutes we were very good. We had a twenty-five minute lull in the first half where we gave them two goals and you can’t do that against elite teams. We went into halftime and said we were actually still in it. I liked our chances. We scored a great goal then had four or five really good chances to tie it up. We put in a great effort in the second half, it was fantastic. You can’t spot good teams two goals and expect to win.”
On Ellenwood’s goal and overall performance of the team
“She (Ashleigh Ellenwood) is good. The whole team was. We played twenty-two players. We challenged our subs in the second half. We said you guys didn’t provide a whole lot in the first half. I thought in the second, they were fantastic. We needed to keep applying pressure to them. I thought overall the team was very good, especially in the second half.”
On her goal
“It was a great service by Claire Kelley from the outside. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.”
On playing against competition like Florida
“They are very good but when we worked hard, we kept the ball and we were very good in the second half. I was very proud of us.”
On the intensity in the second half
“I think it was great. I think we have momentum moving forward even though we have a loss. We are excited for Friday against Tennessee. Just the next game, one at a time.”
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